(Orange County, California, Sheriff's Dept.)

Former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole has ended his fight to be extradited to Missouri, where he faces charges related to the collapse of a project to build an artificial sweetener plant in the town of Moberly.

After refusing last week to be extradited, Cole reversed course at a hearing today in Orange County, California, and waived extradition.  He is charged with diverting $700,000 in bond money to cover personal expenses.  That included around $250,000, which was directed towards a failed attempt to prevent foreclosure on his home in Beverly Hills.

(Orange County, California, Sheriff's Dept.)

The former CEO of Mamtek is fighting extradition to Missouri.

At a court hearing today in Santa Ana, California, Bruce Cole refused to be extradited, which means that he can’t be sent back to Missouri unless the Governor of California asks the court to order it.  A spokeswoman for the Missouri Attorney General’s office says that request is being expedited.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A state audit released today says that the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) could have done a better job of screening applicants for tax credits for the failed Mamtek project in Moberly.

Two years ago the small northeast Missouri town issued $39 million in bonds to get the company to build an artificial sweetener plant.  Mamtek later missed a bond payment and construction halted, and Moberly’s bond rating was downgraded as a result.  State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the due diligence procedures used by the DED were woefully inadequate.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

UMB Bank says assets from a failed artificial sweetener facility in Moberly will be auctioned this fall.

The bank is the bondholder trustee for the central Missouri project that was to be operated by Mamtek U.S. Inc.

Moberly issued $39 million in bonds to finance construction of the plant, and the state offered about $17 million in incentives. Work stopped last fall on the partially built factory after Mamtek missed a bond payment to Moberly. No state incentives were paid.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is defending its role in the Mamtek controversy, in which the town of Moberly issued $39 million in bonds to build an artificial sweetener plant which never opened.

DED Director David Kerr told the House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability that his agency carefully reviewed Los Angeles-based Mamtek’s request for state incentives, which were not issued – but he also said that it’s not DED’s role to double-check every claim made by every company seeking tax credits.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two days of hearings are underway at the Missouri Capitol to explore why an artificial sweetener facility in Moberly never opened and why the small town’s bond rating took a hit.

The House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability is focusing on conflicting documents over the trustworthiness of the company Mamtek. Corey Mehaffy heads the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation. He testified that the state Department of Economic Development never shared emails with the city revealing that a DED official could not verify whether Mamtek had a functioning plant in China.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the company responsible for a failed artificial sweetener factory in Moberly.

Mamtek U.S. Inc. planned to employ several hundred people at the central Missouri plant, and Moberly issued $39 million in bonds to pay for the project.

But Mamtek missed a bond payment and the plant still is under construction. Moberly has said it does not plan to pay off remaining bonds.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

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File photo

The growing chorus of voices complaining about the fate of a half-built plant in Moberly, Missouri, is getting louder.

Today, Missouri's Attorney General chimed in, saying that his office would investigate whether the Mamtek USA project violated any state civil or criminal laws.